What exactly is sexual attraction and what is it like to go through life not experiencing it? What does asexuality reveal about gender roles, about romance and consent, and the pressures of society? In her latest book, Ace, journalist Angela Chen set out to further understand her own asexuality by examining the perspectives of a diverse group of asexual people.
Her accessible examination of asexuality shows that the issues that aces confront—confusion around sexual activity, the intersection of sexuality and identity, navigating different needs in relationships—are the same conflicts that nearly all of us experience. Through a blend of reporting, cultural criticism, and memoir, Angela seeks to break down the misconceptions around the “A” of LGBTQIA+ and invites everyone to rethink pleasure and intimacy.
Through stories of disabled aces, aces of color, gender-nonconforming aces, and aces who both do and don’t want romantic relationships, Angela shares what it is like navigating a society in which a lack of sexual attraction is considered abnormal. Her careful cultural analysis both explores how societal norms limit our understanding of sex and relationships and celebrates the breadth of sexuality and queerness.
Join Angela and journalist Sabrina Imbler for a conversation about what it means to be asexual in a world that’s obsessed with sexual attraction, and what the ace perspective can teach all of us about desire and identity.
Please note that this talk/conversation will be hosted live online and includes an audience Q&A. Instructions on how to join the conversation will be included in your event confirmation email. If you need additional assistance finding or joining the event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Angela Chen is a journalist and writer in New York City. Her reporting and criticism have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Atlantic, Guardian, Paris Review, Electric Literature, Catapult, and elsewhere. Chen is a member of the ace community and has spoken about asexuality at academic conferences and events including World Pride. Find her on Twitter @chengela or at www.angelachen.org.
Sabrina Imbler is a science journalist and essayist based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Atlas Obscura, Audubon, Scientific American, and Grist. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Asian American Writer's Workshop, Jack Jones Literary Arts, and Paragraph NY. Sabrina is the author of the chapbook Dyke (geology) with Black Lawrence Press and the Catapult column "My Life in Sea Creatures." Her essay collection inspired by that column, HOW FAR THE LIGHT REACHES, is forthcoming with Little, Brown in 2022.